No replacement operators in place yet after humane society ordered to leave Fayette County animal shelter

No replacement operators in place yet after humane society ordered to leave Fayette County animal shelter
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 1:02 PM EDT
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FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) - After giving the New River Humane Society 60 days to vacate the premises of Fayette County’s animal shelter, commissioners said Wednesday they are no closer to finding a replacement organization to operate the shelter.

With just 46 days left on the humane society’s order to leave, what is the contingency plan in place for the animals?

Fayette County Commissioner John Brenemen insists the animal shelter will not close. “We’re going to keep the animal shelter open. It’s not going to close. And it will remain a no kill shelter,” he said during Wednesday’s regularly scheduled commission meeting.

Meanwhile, the humane society’s Exec. Dir. Brook Hutcheon said the non-profit has not reached an agreement with the commission to stay. She said they are still in the process of looking for an alternate location.

“We want to help as many animals as possible, all the animals in Fayette County if possible. Even if that’s not at the county shelter, we still hope to do that somewhere,” she said on Wednesday.

Hutcheon had previously said the breakdown with the commission occurred over issues related to funding and the intake of animals.

While commissioners said Wednesday they have advertised for new operators in the paper, they have not received a response yet. However, the deadline to apply is September 29th.

In an interview with Commissioner Brenemen on Wednesday, WVVA News asked about the county’s contingency plan if the New River Humane Society leaves and they don’t have another organization to come in.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said. “We’re really hoping we have some people step up. And if not, there’s a possibility we will extend the time that New River is there.”

Meanwhile, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Dept. is down to just one Animal Control officer after the other one left the job. Sheriff Mike Fridley is advertising the position for annual pay of $25,000 a year plus benefits.